Nintendo, one of the leading video game companies in the world, said it will launch its glasses-free portable 3D gaming console -- Nintendo 3DS - in U.S. on March 27. In Europe, the device will release on March 25.
The Nintendo 3DS, which will be available in either Cosmo Black or Aqua Blue, will have a suggested retail price of $249.99 in the United States. Pricing outside the United States will be established by the local markets, but offer similar consumer value, Nintendo said in a statement.
Nintendo 3DS is a category of one - the experience simply doesn't exist anywhere else, said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. You have to see Nintendo 3DS to believe it. And it's like nothing you've ever seen before.
Nintendo 3DS has two screens. The bottom touch screen makes use of a telescoping stylus that is stored in the unit itself, while the top screen displays 3D visuals to the naked eye.
The system also has a 3D Depth Slider that lets players select the level of 3D and the 3D effect can be ratcheted up to the highest level, scaled back to a more moderate setting or even turned off completely, depending on the preference of the user.
Meanwhile, Nintendo 3DS has three cameras. One camera points at the user, while two additional cameras point outward and these two outer cameras take photos in 3D.
Nintendo 3DS comes with six augmented-reality cards, called AR cards. When the two outer cameras are pointed at the cards, they read the cards and superimpose images and animations onto the scene.
The fun, built-in game Face Raiders asks users to shoot at funny depictions of their own faces. Nintendo 3DS, when put into Sleep Mode, can act as a pedometer, while letting users earn Play Coins for the steps they take that can then be traded in for additional content in compatible games and applications.
In addition, the Mii Maker application gives users new tools to create Mii characters even more easily. Users can either import Mii characters from their Wii systems using an SD memory card or use the camera to take a picture of a person and have an automatic Mii character created.
Users can even save their Mii characters to an SD card as pictures, which enables them to be used any way a digital photo would for personal use, such as a profile picture on social-networking sites.
By accessing the Activity Log, users can check their steps as well as their play time. With Nintendo 3DS Sound, users can enjoy sound-manipulation tools or rock out while listening to their MP3 or AAC music files. An upgraded Internet browser will also be available via a system update.
In addition to the familiar + Control Pad and button controls found on previous Nintendo devices, Nintendo 3DS includes a Circle Pad, which provides a full 360 degrees of direction, giving it the freedom and precision needed to play games in 3D worlds. It brings the same degree of responsiveness that gamers enjoyed when Nintendo introduced an analog control stick to navigate Mario through Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64 system.
The device also features a built-in motion sensor and gyro sensor. The device has the StreetPass feature capable of exchanging game information with other Nintendo 3DS systems as owners pass one another. Also, small packets of information can be exchanged using data-transfer method, such as Mii character data, maps for games or high scores and custom character data for different games.
Meanwhile, the SpotPass feature can connect to compatible public hotspots and through a wireless broadband Internet connection at home, even if the system is in Sleep Mode. Once connected, the Nintendo 3DS system will receive new content and updates on a regular basis.
The Nintendo eShop, through a system update, will offer access to downloadable games, including Nintendo DSiWare and ones specifically made for Nintendo 3DS. Players will be able to view game videos, download demos for select games and see how other consumers rated the games.
Built-in parental controls can be used to limit Internet access or some of the wireless functions. By using a PIN code, parents also can turn off the 3D function altogether, or limit the ratings of the games that their kids can play.
Nintendo 3DS can also play Nintendo DS game cards with their original 2D visuals. The system, which comes with a 2GB SD memory card, also includes a slot for an SD memory card.
During the launch window (between the March 27 launch date and the E3 Expo in early June) more than 30 games will be available to Nintendo 3DS, including Pilotwings Resort, nintendogs + cats, and Steel Diver.
Other Nintendo 3DS games in the works include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Star Fox 64 3D, Kid Icarus: Uprising and new installments in the Mario Kart, Animal Crossing and Paper Mario series.
Meanwhile, a slew of third-party games are also expected to come to Nintendo 3DS. A partial list of titles coming soon to Nintendo 3DS is shown in the following table:
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
Madden NFL Football
The Sims 3
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D
LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
Ridge Racer 3D
Dual Pen Sports
Super Monkey Ball 3D
Thor: God of Thunder
Samurai Warriors Chronicles
Dead or Alive Dimensions
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars
Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D
Rabbids Travel in Time